By Stephanie Moy
On Monday, September 22, 2014, Long Beach High School hosted its first college fair of the 14-15 school year. Hosted during school hours, during third and fourth period, the fair was of importance for many of our seniors. The college fair, hosted at the high school, provided seniors with the chance to meet with admissions representatives from a variety of universities and colleges. Many seniors attended the fair in hopes of acquiring more information on selecting a school for their higher education. I had the privilege of interviewing our school’s Guidance Coordinator, Joy-Anne D’Anca, about the college fair.
“I think it is important to host college fairs earlier in the year rather than later, especially for seniors. This allows them, if they haven’t been serious over the summer, to have a fair chance at looking at schools or programs early so as to formulate their application lists before the “mad rush” of applications comes in October. I also find that seniors have a different outlook on schools/programs that they are pursuing as the reality of their final year of high school sets in.”
2) Why were the selected schools chosen?
“We had an eclectic mix of schools attend this year in order to accommodate different students with individual needs. We always send out more invitations than we need (about 100) to allow for all schools to have a fair chance at attending. I was thrilled with the mix of the 50 plus schools in attendance as they all had unique programs to offer that will appeal to all of our students in one way or another.”
3) Do you believe the college fair really benefits the students?
“College fairs can be one of the best tools for students in making the final decision as to where to apply. While I am partial to making a decision to attend a school ONLY AFTER VISITING ideally when the students are on campus, I think that doing so over a large geographic area is overwhelming for one summer. So, college fairs tend to put students at ease about at least applying until they can physically visit the institution.”
4) How big of a turn up is the college fair?
“I’m not 100% clear as to what you are really asking for in this question. From the college perspective, they are THRILLED to attend Long Beach High School because of the diversity of our students and their higher level of focus. In addition, they love our counselors and how much they know their students. I was more than proud of my staff for physically walking students to college representatives and introducing them.”
“By offering the college fair, we hope to give our students as much exposure to all that is offered as many times as possible. As a student, you know that forever seems like a long time. So, you have to go with what you want in a school/program now and understand that nothing is written in stone. To know that there is so much out there to choose from puts students at ease in making their decisions.”
6) What seems to be the top colleges at the fair among the students? Why do you think such schools are so popular? What colleges are least popular among the students at the fair? Why do you think such schools are least popular?
“I’m going to answer these two questions as one. I don’t think that I can confidently say that one school/program is more popular than the other due to the diversity that makes Long Beach High School as wonderful as it is. Of course, the “big name” schools/programs always get a play and by that I mean the names that are known based on its location or caliber of sports teams. Then you have the SUNY schools/programs that are popular due to price. The private schools/programs that are not as well-known get a little less foot traffic at their table solely based on price, but they are slowly making themselves known as making up their seemingly enormous expense with grants and scholarships.”
In the end, it is perhaps the Guidance Office’s central focus to make sure that students attempt to find a school/program that fits their needs the most, regardless of the name or popularity. By providing students with first hand access to representatives from a variety of institutions, we give them the necessary tools to make the most informed decision about their future as possible.”